Urea-molasses-mineral block (UMMB) in Livestock production

Urea-molasses-mineral block (UMMB)

Urea-molasses-mineral block (UMMB) is a strategic feed supplement for ruminants which provides a constant source of fermentable nitrogen throughout the day to promote growth of rumen microbes.

Basic components of urea-molasses-mineral block (UMMB)

  1. Molasses 30-50%
  2. Urea 5-10%
  3. Rice/Wheat/Maize Bran 15-25%
  4. Salt 5-7%
  5. Lime or Cement 5-7%
  6. DCP 2-4%
  7. Minerals 1-2%

Steps for making UMMB

  1. Preparation of the components
  2. Mixing
  3. Molding
  4. Drying

Preparation of components

  • The amount of different ingredients depends on the size of the block to be manufactured and the formula to be used.
  • The ingredients to be mixed to make 1, 5, 15, or 25 kilo grams of block based on formula alternative
S.N. Ingredients Percent Size of  blocks to be made
1 kg 5 kg 15 kg 25 kg
1. Molasses 40 400 gm 2 kg 6 kg 10 kg
2. Urea 10 100 gm 0.5 kg 1.5 kg 2.5 kg
3. Bran 25 250 gm 1.25 kg 3.75 kg 6.25 kg
4. Cement 10 100 gm 0.5 kg 1.5 kg 2.5 kg
5. Oil Cake 10 100 gm 0.5 kg 1.5 kg 2.5 kg
6. Mineral 1 10 gm 0.05 kg 0.15 kg 0.25 kg
7. Salt 4 40 gm 0.2 kg 0.6 kg 1 kg
Total   100 100 gm 5000g 15000g 25000g
Water     40 gm 0.2kg 0.6 kg 1 kg

Mixing

  • Good mixing is a key for good block making.
  • Urea must be mixed thoroughly.
  • Weigh the amount of ingredients based on the formula of the block.
  • Add urea to the molasses while continuously mixing.
  • The urea is mixed with molasses and thoroughly stirred for about 20 minutes.
  • The molasses can be heated in the sun to improve handling and mixing.
  • Never add water to molasses.
  • Make the cement into a paste with water prior to adding to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mixing the salt with cement accelerates hardening.
  • High levels of the molasses and urea tend to decrease block hardness.
  • Check block hardness after drying.
  • If the block is too hard, reduce the proportion of cement or clay and slightly increase the proportion of molasses.
  • If too soft, increase cement or clay and reduce molasses.

Casting and Molds

  • After mixing the ingredient thoroughly mixture should place into molds.
  • Any local container such as tin cans or small buckets can be used as a mold.
  • Using a plastic sheet to line the molds will make block removal from the mold easier.

Drying and storage of UMMB

  • Remove the blocks from the molds after 24 hours and place on racks to dry.
  • Leave the blocks to dry for at least 5 days depending upon the weather condition.

Feeding and Intake of UMMB

  1. Blocks should be fed as a lick so that only the top surface should be in access to the animals.
  2. This prevents animals from pushing the blocks around, breaking them up and consuming large chunks that could urea toxicity.
  3. Blocks should be introduced to animals slowly and should be fed after animals have consumed adequate forage
  4. This prevents animals from consuming too much at any one time.
  5. Urea Molasses Blocks should never form the main diet
  6. They are only supplements.

Precautions

  1. Feed to ruminants only (sheep, goats, cattle, camels).
  2. Do not feed mono-gastric, i.e. Horses, donkeys, or pigs.
  3. Do not feed to young ruminants less than six months of age (kids, lambs).
  4. Blocks should be used as supplement and not as the basic ration.
  5. Never give blocks to an animal with an empty stomach.
  6. There is the risk of poisoning due to excessive consumption.
  7. The amount of blocks fed to sheep and goats be limited to 100 grams/day.
About the author
Babi Basnet
Master in Animal Nutrition and Fodder production.
Tribhuwan University
Previous articleRice fish farming
Next articleBanana Cultivation Guide
Babi Basnet
Agriculture Knowledge Center Solukhumbu, Nepal

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